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History & Heritage

Our Story


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In 1957, Colonia, NJ wasn’t exactly the mecca of the fashion world.  However, that didn’t stop the neighborhood housewives from aspiring to be draped in the glamorous designs worn by Doris Day, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Debbie Reynolds, Jane Russell, and of course Elizabeth Taylor.  But what separated these housewives from everyone else who aspired to be clad like their favorite Hollywood starlets was that they had Doris – not Doris Day, but Doris Amster, Z”L. 

Doris Amster, Z”L started the business in the basement of her home in 1957 to meet the needs of local customers who had trouble finding beautiful, well tailored clothing in the yet undeveloped suburb. A devoted wife and mother, Doris approached her new career with the same energy and enthusiasm. 

An expert seamstress with entrepreneurial skills way ahead of her time, Doris quickly outgrew the basement and opened up a storefront in Colonia, NJ.  Not long after, a larger store was opened to accommodate the ever growing droves of satisfied customers. 

 All the while, Doris’ little daughter Chari was soaking it all in.  It wasn’t surprising that Chari Amster went on to study at New York City’s renowned Fashion Institute of Technology.  Mother and daughter worked side by side for years, each teaching the other ‘tricks of the trade.’   

What started out over 60 years ago in a basement, has become an innovative boutique in a fabulous location. The common thread that Chari's mother has passed on to her daughter is dedication, attention to detail and eye for style. Woven into the fabric of Chari Amster is the customer service and customizable options that are certain to cater to everyone's fancy. For over 60 years , Amster women have provided an incredible assortment of classic and innovative designs that keep multiple generations of satisfied families coming back every season. Come visit us for yourself and we're sure that you will find something "from jeans to black tie" and everything in between!

New Chari Inside Shop.heic
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